Slow Medicine

A Mars-looking plant, perfect for Scorpio season.

Last month we entered into Scorpio season, which is during the height of the fall season. The beings of the earth are moving inward, the trees are letting go of their leaves, and with the veil being thin, it has been a time to commune with ancestors and spirits.

For me, it has been a time for slowing down. I usually take a week-long vacation in the middle of October, just about the time when Scorpio season begins. I never really put it together before I started on this path, but I’m sure my Scorpio-rising self needed to connect with the energy of the sign. It is usually a time of introspection and figuring out my path in my career for the year ahead. That was true this year too, but in a much different way.

I have been working in the child care field for a long time. For the most part it has been very rewarding, but for the last few years I have been super stressed out and went through a pretty serious burn-out. It has taken a long time for me to recover; in fact, I define myself as still in recovery from the burn-out. During this recovery process I have come to discover that the burn-out was not only the Universe’s way of telling me that I needed to slow down, but also that my career path needed to change. About a month ago I received a download from the Universe that told me exactly what my path forward looked like, and I have been working toward that path ever since.

Working toward this path has been a process of slowing down. It has been a process of realizing that I don’t need to wake up every morning completely worried that I’m going to be late for work, let someone down, or not be enough at my child care job. It has been full of me being present in whatever aspect of my job I am involved in from one moment to the next, without worrying about all of the things that I am not getting done in that moment. It has been a realization that my child care job is not the whole of my life, and that in order to have energy for other things in my life, I need to slow down in that one aspect. My path forward requires me to craft, and that in itself has been a process of slowing down, as I work to create things of meaning and quality that other people can enjoy. Crafting has actually taught me how to slow down in other areas, so it has been a good teacher when it comes to figuring out how to slow down in all of the areas of my life.

All of this has been a game changer for me. My energy is better, I’ve had more mental space to handle the work I’m doing on my path forward, and I’m not about to snap everyone in my family’s head off when I walk in the door from work in the evening. Okay, that last one may not be true all of the time, but it has still been better than it was before.

So what did I do?

Honestly, I’m really not sure how to answer that. I think it came down to a decision that my priorities have to be different moving forward. If the universe gave me a vision of my new path forward, then I need to listen to that.

Obviously, that doesn’t help anyone who is feeling burn-out or wants to know how to relieve stress from overwork or a mind that won’t quit. But it does come down to a decision made moment to moment that you aren’t going to stress the small stuff. You focus on what you are doing in that moment and leave the rest of it behind. Kind of like “Don’t stress the small stuff,” which is something I’ve always said was easier said than done. Or even like the Serenity prayer:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

That was something else that I felt was easier said than done. And really, it is. For years there was nothing that propelled me to try to slow down my frantic pace or my mind that won’t quit. Then I hit the burn-out and its all I’ve been trying to do since. Then I got my path forward and I have more motivation to make it happen.

I listened to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts today, Feed Your Wild, and they were talking about this exact thing – how to slow down and why it is important. In fact, the name of this post came from that episode, because they talked about using slow medicine to help them move forward. I highly recommend that you listen to the most recent Moon Musings episode (from October 27th) as it might give you more ideas about how to move from the frantic pace that our society says is the one we should keep, to a healthier, slower pace that is ultimately healing for our bodies and minds. I hope you get as much out of it as I did.